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A bootable Linux ISO/USB that auto-loads from a 2nd USB
Luke_Nukem commented on 19 September 2018 at 4:57 am UTC

Hi all.

Cross post

This is something I had been working on for a long while, and only just got around to completing - a USB bootable Linux install that boots directly to Attract Mode, and loads/saves configs, roms, art etc from a second USB drive.

The short of it is:
- write iso to USB drive,
- format another USB drive with a partition named 'arcade_usb'
- copy your complete setup to the above drive partition (see example)
- Attract Mode setup is expected to be in the attractmode directory
- insert both sticks and boot

NOTE: You can yank the arcade_usb stick out (which stops Attract Mode), tinker with stuff on it on another computer, then stick it back in (Attract Mode will start again with new settings etc).

---
Hardware:

CPU must be 64bit!

It *should* work with almost anything provided it supports decent OpenGL levels required by the SFML lib AM uses. I provide two ISO's; one with previous gen of Nvidia support, and one for current gen - both ISO's should support Intel and AMD/ATi without issue.

The hardware I run this on at the moment with great success is:
- AMD Athlon 64,
- 512Mb of RAM,
- Nvidia 8600GT
and shaders work very well in AM and in Mame using bgfx. I do get some slow-down on this hardware with more complex themes or ones that try to display a whole lot of video snaps at once.

---
Installing:

If you are experienced with Linux, you can install this ISO to the local HDD of the machine you want it on, there are two scripts to help get you through; installer, and install-arcade. install-arcade (WIP!) will nuke the HDD and install the ISO unguided, whereas installer will do it with your help.

NOTE: The ISO's don't include EFI boot as of yet, so booting and installing will be old-fashioned BIOS style for now.

NOTE: Feedback is welcomed. For issues though, please create them on Gitlab, or if you don't have an account on there PM me and I'll add the issue.

---
Links:

Gitlab project

Pre-built ISO's

Main README.md

arcade_usb setup example

Theme in photo and in examples is the excellent flat_blue

image

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